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Highland's Davis Changes Direction, Picks George Mason

March 31, 1994|JEFF FLETCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PALMDALE — This time, he's sure.

Pharoah Davis, a standout forward at Highland High, said Wednesday he will sign to play college basketball for Coach Paul Westhead at George Mason in Virginia.

Davis made an oral commitment to San Diego State in September, then backed out a few weeks later.

"I just think I made the decision a little prematurely," Davis said. "I didn't know what I wanted to do at the time. When I went to George Mason, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I just got a gut feeling."

The same gut feeling he got at San Diego State?

"I'm positive this time," Davis said. "If I'm not, it's a little late."

The NCAA spring signing period begins April 13.

Davis, who averaged 22 points per game for the Bulldogs, said recruiting was slow early in the season because most schools assumed he had signed with San Diego State. But once word was out that he was still available, he accepted trips to Louisiana State, Arizona State and Texas El Paso. He said he also had an offer to visit Marquette, but never made the trip.

Davis was swayed toward George Mason, a Division I school in Fairfax, Va., because of Westhead, who just completed his first season there after coaching the Lakers, Loyola Marymount and the Denver Nuggets.

"The coaching staff was the big reason (for choosing George Mason)," Davis said. "If you are going to be somewhere for four years, you really don't want to go somewhere where you aren't going to be comfortable."

Westhead led the Patriots to a 10-17 record this season, following back-to-back seven-victory seasons. George Mason's only NCAA tournament appearance was in 1989.

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